Here are a few pictures from the wedding that was held in our front yard.
The daily grind continues as we are now past day 22 of our inspection. There is a bit of light at the end of the tunnel but it’s still pretty small. There is not much of the airplane or any system on the aircraft that hasn’t been effected in someway during this inspection. A few of the interior wall and ceiling panels have stayed in place but I think that is about it. The Lord has continues to show His grace and mercy to us throughout this project, as we’ve made a few mistakes. Have no fear those mistakes have been rectified and I will fly the plane with confidence in a few weeks from now. Our current goal is to have the airplane back in service by the 17th which might be possible we’ll see. The important thing is that it’s put back together correctly :).
This picture is from today as we started to reassemble the tail.
This picture from a couple days ago. We needed to lift the air-frame off the floats to change a couple bolts that were corroding in a lower attachment. Lot of work for just 2 bolts but it’s all part of keep the airplane in good safe working order.
This was the big day we removed the wings a couple weeks ago.
20,000 hrs may not seem like a lot or maybe it does. PK-MAO is now the second Caravan in the MAF worldwide fleet to reach this milestone. A milestone that comes with a lot of work I might add. For the past 2 weeks our team here in Merauke has been hard at work disassembling our beloved airplane down to bear bones. Here are a few photos; day 1, day 5, day 6, and day 8 which was yesterday.
Next week the wings will come off and the plane will be lifted off the floats just high enough for the special NDT (non-destructive testing) tool. The disassembly process is almost complete. Hopefully the following week after the all the NDT is completed we can start to reassemble which usually takes a bit longer than the disassembly part.
Some up and coming things for our family. April my (Greg) mom and niece are coming for a visit and following their departure back to Canada beginning of May we will also be heading to Canada/USA ourselves. As our travel plans start to fall into place we will be posting our schedule here.
Well it’s a new year again and with the new year brings new beginnings. One of which is a new home for our family blog. I was getting a lot of adds on our old blog and I wasn’t sure if others were also seeing adds pop when viewing our blog. So in hope of taking a bit more control over on our blog I felt it was time to relocate.
January has been an exciting month for our family. Julie and the kids have been digging hard into their school studies in hopes of being done before we head back to Canada and the USA in May. We are celebrating 1 year in the same house. This is the longest season for our family with out a move since coming to Indonesia back in Aug 2013. We hope to continue this stretch as we’ve started to plant things in the yard and have started to put down some of our own roots as we build some friendships in what contexts I wouldn’t have thought of before.
I’ve also been busy flying and doing some minor maintenance on MAO. Here are a few pictures from my cell phone on my way up to Sentani the other day. After flying in the swamps of the south coast, it’s a nice change of pace to be able to slip over the mountains at 13000′ on a nice VFR day.
Some challenges have also been faced already this year. Last week our Merauke office manager fell sick, to I’m not sure what. It started out looking pretty bad with blood pressure extremely high. We are thankful that only after a week he is now good enough to be back at home resting and recovering. We are thankful for God’s answered prayers.
Because of the frequency of power outages here it best to protect refrigeration units, A/C, fridges and freezers from starting under load. One of the ways to do this is putting a delay timer in the fridge circuit. However, when the delay unit starts to fail it creates a lot of noise as the contactor its controlling is snapping on and off. That was my project or shall I say a family effort as I removed this protection system that was failing last Saturday. And as per usual this quick project became a somewhat larger one. Before un-wiring the timer and related components it was quickly apparent that some other electrical things weren’t wired up quite right. So an electrical overhaul was in order. I gutted both the panels in the house and rearranged things and did my best to bring our electrical panels closer to a North American standard/code. Now things are better arranged having 220V in one panel and 120V in the other. I won’t go into anymore detail why but I’m thankful for completing the overhaul when I did and also thankful for God’s protection over our home and family this past year. And for those wondering why I would remove the timer system that was protecting our fridge. The system is needed for older fridges or fridges that are imported from countries with good power that don’t have timers built-in already. I did confirm our fridge has it’s on timer, so I see no reason to replace the timer at this time.
This is part way through the project which I will mention again, I had some great helpers and not too many complaints waiting for the A/Cs to work again.
4 hours later, power restored with organized and labelled panels complete with a directory.
And in closing I found this picture a few days ago. Taken by the Hewes family during their visit to Merauke a couple years ago.
Both Greg and I grew up in places that always turn cold and normally white for Christmas. And if I was being honest that was about the only time that I actually liked having snow. So as we prepared for our first Christmas here in Merauke that was one of the many little things about the holiday that we missed. Thankfully, we started to see a little more rain coming our way as we drew closer to Christmas which after having a time of dryness here it was just as special.
The kids jumped right into helping decorate the house, helped with shopping, and had lots of ideas about things to bake. Since this was our fourth Christmas in Indonesia the kids had lots of different things that they want to do. Somethings that they remember from Canada really came forward this year. And we added some Indonesia traditions as well to our celebration. I will admit that this can sometimes get stressful as we try to celebrate one holiday with two very different cultures wrapped into one day. While the kids and I were busy at the house all the guys at the hanger were trying to keep up with all the flight request that kept coming in. Normally, this is the time of year that the people want to come to the city in order to celebrate with family and friends.
This year our family was able to host our MAF Merauke Christmas party at our house. This is one of the blessings of having a small team of expats and national staff. The kids enjoyed preparing for this time with extra decorations, offering to taste test anything that I was baking, and helped with extra cleaning. The evening of our celebration we were all blessed to hear from one of the missionaries, who we serve here from Merauke. She spoke about her work in the community of Kotiak. Later each family had sometime to share the blessings God had provided to each of our families this past year. And of course there was a variety of food like a selection of chicken, fish and beef too, And it would not be a true Indonesia party without some nasi kunning and nasi putih, (yellow and white rice). Mixed in with some Christmas baking that has been popping up in our kitchen lately.
Christmas Eve found our family laughing at funny skits, singing songs, and enjoying fellowship with our local Indonesia church that we attend. Then after the service their was a tasty meal and a time of photos with people. The kids enjoyed playing with other children and watching fireworks that were going off around town as we waiting to get out of the parking lot. We were one of the first ones there which meant that we were totally boxed in for awhile.
Christmas morning found our family enjoying a time of opening gifts and talking to family through Skype which actually worked really well. Then our family opened our house up for a time of fellowship with any friends and neighbors that wanted to come for a visit. And we were blessed with have some of our new friends stop in and see us in our home for the very first time. And Jaclynn had some of her friends come to our door which lead to a few hours of playing with them. Then the next day we heading to different peoples house and had the chance to visit with them in their homes.
It was a wonderful time of fellowship and way to much eating as it is not polite to not eat things that are laid in front of you. We would always like to thank everyone one of you for all of those amazing Christmas emails that you sent. And our children (especially Isaac) loved seeing all the snow/winter pictures that were including in those emails. We hope that you all have a blessed New Year and looking forward to what God has in store for all of us in this coming year.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
Greg, Julie, Franklin, Isaac, & Jaclynn.
Well after a wonderful family vacation, we have returned refreshed and ready to get back to daily living here in Merauke.
For the first time anyone could remember, this past week MAF Indonesia stopped all operations across the country. To gather all the technicians (pilots, mechanics & IT), for 4 days full of meetings and reports. I’m not much of a meeting kind of guy so that part, well let’s just leave it at that regarding how the meetings went. My highlight for the week was the grand reunion with guys I had met at candidacy going back to 2010, others I had gone through A&P, pre-field training with and language studies. I was starting to get into bit of a low as far why were we here, what makes us different, etc. Departing this morning to come home I’m thankful for the renewed vision and excitement for why were are here and what make us different. As we head into December which will be a very busy month of flying I’m looking forward to the privilege and opportunities that my Maker in Heaven will put before me to serve, reflect His Light and show His Love to those I interact with in days to come.
She had a wonderful time feeding, holding, and playing with a wide range of local animals from the different Islands of Indonesia. It was a great day for hanging out with her dad and just exploring and learning as much as she could about the different kinds of animals. She really loved playing with the elephants and greatly enjoyed going for an elephant ride with her dad. Not many girls her age can say that they have rode an elephant with their dad.
For this family vacation we wanted to try something new as a family. And believe it or not it was both Julie and Jaclynn who thought about trying surfing before we even headed to Bali, Well as you can tell from the pictures below we all enjoyed learning something new but it was Franklin who fell in love with the sport of surfing in a huge way. The whole family did a two and a half hour lesson but Franklin went back for more lesson over the next couple of days after that. I think we found his recreation/hobby of choice. Isaac and Jaclynn were the first to make it to a standing position but it was Franklin who really enjoyed it the most. And all the Indonesia people in the background are the instructors who are teaching and helping us in the water.
This was me most of the time, falling, however I did mange once to stay up for a short run. It was worth the pulled muscles, stubbed toes, and sunburn to see the kids succeed especially Franklin as this was what he wanted to do the rest of vacation. Franklin continued to improve over the next couple days as he continued to practice. Unfortunately here in Merauke we don’t have good surfing waves. Franklin is already made his request that we schedule more days at the beach next time so he can continue master the finer points of surfing.
I’ve been hearing that Winter is approaching and in some places already arrived. Warning this post and the next couple contain no snow or winter weather conditions, viewer discretion is advised for those suffering from winter blues already. There are some perks to living in the tropics, and you are always welcome to come for a visit. Here is the next segment of our family vacation the Villa.